Soccer Business Bits: Player Cards, Free Week

advocareMajor League Soccer and Topps have announced a six year deal between the entities to make Topps the official trading card partner of MLS.  Per the Sports Business Journal,  “the company plans to produce special cards of MLS stars such as Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls and Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy. Autographed cards — featuring Andrew Farrell, the first overall pick in the 2013 draft by the New England Revolution, among others — will be part of this year’s collection, as well. The card company will activate at league events, including the All-Star Game in July and the season-ending MLS Cup championship match.”  The first Topps collection will be released in July and the company has exclusivity for cards, stickers and more.  New York based Topps was founded in 1938 and has long been a prominent player in the trading card industry.

MLS aggressively promoted a free week of its MLS Live service during the last round of games.  The league has been working hard to put its online package in front of fans, with a weekly free game of the week feature, active promotion via Twitter an increasingly attractive options.  The package is reasonably price, provides high quality video and provides access to out of market games not available on the league’s national television providers.   MLS recognizes that the league fan base is extremely high-tech and that many of its supporters favor the online option to the traditional out of market package.

One final note. is reporting that FC Dallas is close to naming a stadium naming rights sponsor for the rest of this season and thereafter.  Fans in the Dallas area have heard these reports before, but it seems that a deal is finally close.  There has been no naming rights sponsor since Pizza Hut walked away from its deal two seasons ago.